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Duke uses second-half surge to beat Davidson 67-50

Both Ryan Kelly and Tyler Thornton scored in double figures for Duke in the 67-50 win over Davidson. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY

CHARLOTTE—Over the course of No. 1 Duke’s undefeated run through nonconference play, head coach Mike Krzyzewski hasn’t seen much—anything, really—from his team that has upset him.

And even though Duke’s 67-50 win over Davidson was a struggle for the majority of the game, Krzyzewski came into the postgame locker room in a good mood, cracking a joke about the long walk he had from the Blue Devils’ locker room.

And, while he said he was pleased with his team’s performance throughout the game, he succinctly summarized the difference between the first half, which ended in a 29-29 tie, and the second.

“In the first half, we gave up offensive rebounds,” Krzyzewski said. “In the second half, we didn’t.”

DeCock: Like Irving, Parker the missing piece in title puzzle

The recruitment of Kyrie Irving passed without excessive fanfare, obscured by the hype and hoopla surrounding Harrison Barnes and his choice between Duke and North Carolina. Then Duke won the national title in 2010, and Irving walked in the door the next fall as the point guard that veteran, experienced team needed to contend for another title.

That isn’t how it worked out, thanks to Irving’s toe injury. With Jabari Parker, Duke gets another chance at a similar arrangement: He’s the final piece in a national-title puzzle, an instant injection of raw, unbridled talent into a veteran team that already knows how to win.

Postgame: thoughts from Duke's 88-47 win over Cornell

Duke tips again in less than 24 hours. With that in mind, a lighter dose of thoughts with more to come after there's, well, more to think about:

***That big black eye Marshall Plumlee was sporting Wednesday night? It was a result of an inadvertent poke by Ryan Kelly in practice.

***Mike Krzyzewski offered Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim congratulations on his 900th victory after Duke’s win. It was delivered with a heavy amount of sarcasm.
“How does a guy like that win so many games?” Krzyzewski said to a chorus of laughs. “He has no personality, he plays zone all the time, he golfs more than he watches tape. He must have a great staff and unbelievable players over the years.
“It is amazing that somebody can be at a school for 50 years,” said Krzyzewski, who has been at Duke 33 seasons. “He’s there for 50 years.”

***The back-to-back games against Cornell and Elon would have ideally been played over three days instead of two, Krzyzewski said, but scheduling around Duke’s academic needs can make December tough.

Duke to be No. 1

 

Quinn Cook and the rest of the Blue Devils will be on top of the AP Poll Monday. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY

With Butler's 88-86 overtime win over No. 1 Indiana on Saturday, Duke will be the No. 1 team in the polls when they are released Monday. It will be the first time since the week of Feb. 21, 2011 that the Blue Devils have claimed the top spot.

Coming into this year, Duke has been ranked No. 1 in the AP Poll in 10 of the last 15 seasons. Head coach Mike Krzyzewski has had the No. 1-ranked team in the AP Poll for 104 weeks during his career, the highest number among active coaches. North Carolina's Roy Williams ranks second with 57 weeks at No. 1. 

The Jabari Parker watch

Jabari Parker, the No. 2 recruit in the country, is close to making a college choice. Credit: AP

If you missed it, prized basketball recruit Jabari Parker announced Wednesday that he will make his college choice Dec. 20. The recruiting analysts feel like it will come down to Duke or Michigan State. You can check out the full story here.

The one large advantage Michigan State has over Duke is that it’s much closer to Parker’s Chicago home. As a general rule of thumb, the longer it takes a player to make a decision, the greater the chance he stays close to home, but that’s certainly not foolproof logic. Mike Krzyzewski has done well recruiting in Chicago, drawing players like Jon Scheyer, Corey Maggette, Chris Collins and Sean Dockery. At this point, no one—not even Parker’s father—knows which way he is leaning.

Postgame: thoughts from Duke's 75-68 win over Kentucky

 

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski thought Seth Curry was the difference-maker for Duke in its win over Kentucky. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY

ATLANTA—It was a matchup with March Madness-level intensity. And here's a fittingly in-depth analysis from yours truly: 

First: the game story from No. 9 Duke's 75-68 win over No. 3 Kentucky and the full story behind John Calipari's comments on Duke flopping at halftime.

***Duke needs all three of its seniors to be successful.

The trio of Mason PlumleeRyan Kelly and Seth Curry is greater than the sum of its individual parts. That’s not to say that, as individuals, they’re not good, but the three of them clicking on the court will be necessary for future Duke success.

Holiday Cards with Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski

 

 The five winning designs for this year's Duke Children's Hospital Cards. 

Mike Krzyzewski has been at Duke 33 years. For 32 of those, he has been the chairman of the Duke Children's Card Program.

Every year, the Duke Children's Hospital & Health Center hold a contest in which kids from all over North Carolina submit designs for all-occasion and holiday card contest. Wednesday morning, Krzyzewski introduced each of the artists and their designs and also filmed a few TV and radio advertisements with the winners.

He also asked each of them about the ideas behind their designs.

Programming note: Duke sports on the radio

 

Mike Krzyzewski's radio show kicks off its eighth season tonight with a great anecdote from Louisville's Rick Pitino. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY

A few programming notes for Duke sports fans:

*Wednesday (tonight) at 7 p.m., Mike Krzyzewski will kick off the eighth season of his "Basketball and Beyond" Sirius XM radio show. Like the title suggests, Krzyrewski talks about hoops and other topics that interest him. Tonight's guests include Louisville coach Rick Pitino and Orioles manager Buck Showalter. The hyperlinks on their names contain preview sound bites. Check it out. 

Mike Krzyzewski on Lance Thomas, transfers and compliance in general

 

When asked about the Lance Thomas situation, Mike Krzyzewski said he doesn't know what happened. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY

CHARLOTTE—Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski told the media Wednesday that he doesn’t know the circumstances surrounding Lance Thomas’s December 2009 jewelry purchase.

“No, I don’t know what happened,” Krzyzewski said. “In Lance’s situation, when we heard the rumor of his lawsuit, we contacted our administration in early September. And they then contacted the NCAA. And what they’re doing is looking into it. There’s no investigation, they’re looking into it. We have to make sure that we honor the integrity of that process in moving along. That’s what I’ve tried to do, and that’s really about all I can say about it. That’s just the way it works.”

Thomas purchased $97,800 worth of custom jewelry on Dec. 21, 2009, midway through his senior year. He made a $30,000 down payment and signed a purchase agreement to pay the balance within 15 days. Thomas defaulted on his payment. Raefello & Co. filed a lawsuit in January after repeated attempts to collect payment. The lawsuit was made public in September, and both parties had reached a settlement later that month.

ACC Commissioner John Swofford said the Duke has kept the league office informed.

My 2012-13 preseason ACC ballot

Mike Krzyzewski isn't a fan of voting in preseason polls. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY

CHARLOTTE—Media members met in Charlotte today for the 50th annual ACC Operation Basketball, and part of the festivities included making a few predictions. For the first time since 1975, NC State was picked to win the league, and Duke finished a a relatively close second. That's exactly how I voted as well. Speaking of my ballot, here it is:

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